Jewish Mother on Circumcision

Stained glass artwork at The Jewish Mother restaurant (located down the street from Peaceful Parenting). Each time we go down to grab a bite to eat at The Jewish Mother, we think of Miriam Pollack and her wise words that have helped so many.

For additional information on Judaism, circumcision, 
and the Bris Shalom ceremony, see resources on this page.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I am not Jewish and circumcised my sweet baby boy just over a year ago. It was a decision based in utter ignorance that I daily wish I could take back. I have such shame and regret that it is difficult to express. It is nice to hear another mother speaking openly about circumcising her boys. So far I have only shared my regrets with friends who might some day make the same mistake. To this day I can not bring myself to watch circumcision videos... I don't need to to know that I would never do this to another son. I can't imagine the pain she feels at being witness.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing and posting this! I've shared it on Intact America's wall. The more we hear from mothers and fathers who are courageous enough to share their own stories and regrets, the more minds we can change, and the more babies we can save from the harm and suffering of infant circumcision.

  4. I made he same mistake with my oldest boy. I try not to beat myself up over it because it won't help or change anything. What's important now is to take the knowledge that we have now from the experience, & use it to educate everyone we can by speaking out. You are both wonderful, thank you for sharing!

  5. i really enjoyed this. my first two sons are circumcised because i was told by everyone around me 'they have to look like their dad.' one of my sons had complications and is permanently scarred, and my husband suffers his own issues due to circumcision. i made the choice not to do that procedure on my third much to my family's dismay but it's the best choice i've made and wish i had educated myself and gone with my heart with my first two boys...

  6. It's a good thing that if a parent looses an arm or leg people don't say that.

  7. Saving future sons is proof to earlier sons that you would have done the right thing if you had been given the right information. It takes a strong person to own up to a mistake and to do things differently the next time.

    I wish every expectant mom would ask, "How is my son going to feel about what I'm consenting to?"

    The thing in our society, where males are considered expendable in war, no one really cares how they feel about anything. If sons had the option to bring their parents to court and to be punished with jail time, would parents assume that their sons still want to be circumcised?

    American culture still considers the male child chattel, especially our government and the medical profession.

  8. Well, if you ask me, no one really cares how females feel about anything, either. Women have routinely been treated horrendously throughout history, and the medical profession is no exception. You might be interested to know that apparently it's common practice (especially at teaching hospitals) to wait till a female patient is unconscious (before a surgery) and line up the interns to do practice pelvic exams. Without consent. So please, don't feel alone - us women get our share of the crap. Just because we aren't drafted doesn't mean we're privileged.

  9. Kim, Yes, these non-consenting pelvic exams are wrong, but I think unnecessary hysterectomies, oophorectomies, C-sections and episiotomies are worse. I was grabbed once in the shower by some 70 year old and it wasn't my arm. I was in so much shock I didn't know what to do. And then when I recovered I thought if I hit him I'd probably kill him. He walked away laughing. Being touched and inspected without consent is awful but one recovers.

    I think if you asked those males who are angry about circumcision if they would have been raped anally instead they would choose that, as awful as that is. At least you are left with all your parts and your mother didn't side with your alpha male enemy.

    Yes, women have been treated horribly throughout history. One of my grandmother's had 12 kids. Did she have much choice?

    Most men feel their sexual needs come before the woman. I'm not like what we imagine most men to be like. I care about a woman's feelings because I fought to discover and keep mine. I may hide them sometimes but I always try to think why I feel a certain way. I said at work when I find a wife and she has our baby, I'll feel guilty that my part in the process was so simple and without any sacrifice. Two fathers in the room laughed and said they didn't feel any guilt. I won't drink alcohol either just to set an example and keep her company for those 9 months. Woman are allowed to have feelings and express these feeling to other women.

    Both gender roles need to be reworked. I'm not fighting women changing their role in society. I'm exposing that it's not "a man's world" for every man.

  10. Randall, it’s a bit easy to say your part to play is simple and without sacrifice, if you take on the your responsibility, protect and nurture, be a joyful and loving presence then you have no need to feel guilt. Your not a woman and being emotionally mature, loving and nurturing are qualities that are masculine as much as they are feminine in woman.

    Yes we have immature men and we have enlightened men and we have immature woman and enlightened woman, and those taking the journey, there is no need to generalize one group.

    We are living in an anti-male energy at the moment, what we need now is more men of integrity and strength speaking up so that we can find the balance.

    I decided to take on the role of protector of our kids against violence. Circumcision is just that, but I refuse to take on this role with a negative angry energy. The world has enough angry people.
    We can only be responsible for the world we create now, in this present moment, so there is no room for guilt over the past. The past is only a wise teacher.

  11. I am so moved by this video. I chose NOT to circumcise my son because I have a strong belief that one should have control over one's own body and that any decision to change his body should be his. After hearing Ms. Pollocks' words I am so grateful for my decision.



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